Paksat (SUPARCO)

Paksat International (Pvt), Ltd. is acting as the commercial arm of the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) space agency of the Government of Pakistan, responsible for the nation’s public and civil space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research. SUPARCO owns two communication satellites in orbit, PakSat-1R located at 38° East (replacing PakSat-1) and planned PakSat-MM1, to be located at 38.2° East.

The footprint of the fleet expands across South Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. Currently Paksat is serving tv-broadcasters, Cellular Operators, Internet & Data Service Providers and Government Organizations across 3 continents. The company continues to expand its portfolio of services with introduction of managed services and a host of broadcast and data solutions.

Paksat International was officially established in January 2006 and successfully built up a solid customer base for the PakSat-1 spacecraft, across Middle-East, Africa, South Asia and Europe. PakSat-1 today has the fastest growing Pakistani TV channel neighborhood.

Paksat International also markets other space related applications and services developed by SUPARCO including Satellite Remote Sensing Dataservices, GIS-development and customization, environmental monitoring and analysis, and vehicle tracking and fleet management services.

Paksat Int’l started with the marketing of Paksat-1 until in 2004, and later when Paksat-1R was launched in August 2011. Paksat increased its fleet of satellites with the introduction of a new high-powered satellite PakSat-MM 1 in 2018.


The Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) is an executive and bureaucratic space agency of the Government of Pakistan, responsible for the nation’s public and civil space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research. Its mission statement and objective is to conduct peaceful research in space technology and promote the technology for socio-economic uplift of the country. SUPARCO is headquartered in Karachi, Pakistan and operates two communications satellites and various experimental satellites in orbit. The communications satellite PakSat-1R was launched in August 2011 and PakSat-MM1 was launched in 2018. SUPARCO has its TT&C facilities in Lahore and Islamabad, Pakistan.

SUPARCO was established on September 16th in 1961 by an executive order of President of Pakistan, it is headquartered in Karachi, Sindh Province of Pakistan. Part of the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) of Pakistan Armed Forces, which is currently headquartered at the Chakalala Military District under the control of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) the space program recorded number of pioneering accomplishments in space flight during the initial years of its establishment.

Since its establishment, SUPARCO has achieved numerous milestones, including the first successful spaceflight of country’s first weather expendable launch rocket, Rehbar-I.

The country’s first satellite, Badr-I, was built by SUPARCO and launched by CGWIC from China in 1990. However, the space program suffered many setbacks, difficulties, and problems that partly slowed down the progress of the space program. The bureaucratic influence and politicization further lagged the space program and the superior authorities canceled many projects. Rehbar-II was also successfully launched from Sonmiani Rocket Range on June 9th, 1962.

The data received from Rehbar-I and Rehbar-II gave scientists information on wind shear and structure in the layers of the upper atmosphere extending beyond the stratosphere. The data collected also helped in the study of cloud formation, cyclones and weather over the Arabian Sea. Over the years, SUPARCO expanded and had several well-expanded installations all over the country as assets, and cooperates in peaceful use of space technology with the international community as a part of several bilateral and multilateral agreements.

SUPARCO remained under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division until September 2000 for almost 20 years. During this period, only one meeting of the SRC (headed by the President of Pakistan) and 13 meetings of ECSRC (headed by the Federal Minister for Finance) were held. The last meeting of ECSRC was held on September 9th, 1999. The SRC, in its first-ever meeting held on December 24th, 1984, approved the Long-Term Development Program of Space Science and Technology in Pakistan, submitted by SUPARCO, which contained projects of national importance.

On July 16th, 1990, Pakistan launched its first experimental satellite BADR-1. SUPARCO launched their second experimental satellite BADR-B on December 10th, 2001.

In December 2001 Pakistan leased a communication satellite HGS-3 from Hughes Global Services (Boeing Defense & Space) and relocated it to its slot at 38° East slot. The satellite was renamed in PakSat-1. The satellite was originally known as Palapa C1 and was launched in 2006 for Indonesia. Later Indonesia declared the satellite unusable after an electric power anomaly. The insurance claims were paid and the title was transferred to Hughes Space & Communications Company. HGS-3 was then acquired by Pakistan on “Full Time Leasing” and relocated to Pakistan’s reserved slot at 38° East slot.

In 2008 SUPARCO developed PakSat-1R as to replace PakSat-1 that ended services in 2016. PakSat-1R was launched in August 2011 on a Long March 3M/E rocket operated by CGWIC from China.

On March 22nd, 2018 SUPARCO signed the contract with Chinese CAST and CGWIC for the joint-development and launch of the PakSat Multi-Mission-1 (PakSat-MM1) satellite. Both SUPARCO and CAST/CGWIC were contributing 50% of the contract value. PakSat-MM1 is scheduled to be launched early 2022.
AsiaSat-4 from satellite operator Asiasat, that was replaced by AsiaSat-9 in 2016, was leased by Paksat International to hold the 38° East slot for PakSat-MM1.

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Resources  edition September 23rd, 2010  edition May 16th, 2018

Satellite fleet by Paksat (SUPARCO)

PakSat-1R at 38° East